Williams v. Thompson et al
ORDER ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS for 24 Report and Recommendations, denying 8 MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order filed by Arthur Lee Williams. Signed by Judge David Folsom on 9/19/11. (mrm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
ARTHUR LEE WILLIAMS
PAUL THOMPSON, ET AL.
CIVIL ACTION NO. 5:11cv68
MEMORANDUM ADOPTING REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
OF THE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
AND DENYING MOTION FOR INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
The Plaintiff Arthur Williams, an inmate currently confined in the Texas Department of
Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions Division, filed this civil rights lawsuit under 42 U.S.C.
§1983 complaining of alleged violations of his constitutional rights. This Court ordered that the
matter be referred to the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §636(b)(1) and (3)
and the Amended Order for the Adoption of Local Rules for the Assignment of Duties to United
States Magistrate Judges.
Williams filed a motion for a temporary restraining order saying that he filed a grievance
against the defendant Paul Thompson for shining a red laser light into his eyes, but no disciplinary
action was taken against Thompson; instead, he complains that Thompson retaliated against him by
entering his cell and hitting him in the head with a flashlight. Williams received a disciplinary case
over this incident; he asserts that at the hearing, Thompson admitted that he was retaliating against
Williams, but Williams was found guilty anyway. After Williams returned from the hospital, he was
assigned to live in the “gang members housing area.” He requested injunctive relief in the form of
a transfer back to a safe environment such as general population.
After review of Thompson’s motion, the Magistrate Judge issued a Report on August 23,
2011, recommending that the motion for injunctive relief be denied. The Magistrate Judge set out
the standards for injunctive relief and stated that Williams had not shown a substantial likelihood
that he would prevail on the merits of his claim or that he faced a substantial danger of irreparable
injury if the requested injunctive relief is not granted. Instead, the Magistrate Judge stated that
Williams simply offered a conclusory allegation that the area of the prison to which he was
transferred, after being found guilty of a disciplinary offense, placed his life in danger. The
Magistrate Judge observed that conclusory allegations could not sustain entitlement to injunctive
In addition, the Magistrate Judge noted that Williams had not shown that his proposed
injunctive relief would not dis-serve the public interest. The Supreme Court has cautioned the
federal courts against excessive involvement in “the minutiae of prison operations,” and inmates
have no constitutionally protected interest in their classification status. Thus, the Magistrate Judge
recommended that Williams’ motion for injunctive relief be denied.
Williams filed objections to the Magistrate Judge’s Report on September 14, 2011. In his
objections, Williams says that he does not have to wait until after a “tragic event occurs” to seek an
injunction to remedy unsafe prison conditions. He refers back to his original complaint, in which
he stated that after he complained about the red laser light, Thompson made racial slurs and said that
he would “have something done” to Williams. Williams states that he has shown a likelihood as
addressed in Helling v. McKinney, 509 U.S. 25 (1993), and Ramos v. Lamm, 639 F.2d 559, 572
(10th Cir. 1980), arguing that these cases show that he need not wait until he is injured to seek
Williams’ objections relate back to the events of his complaint against Thompson, and do
not discuss whether or not he is presently entitled to injunctive relief in the form of a transfer to a
housing area which he believes is safer. He does not show a substantial likelihood of success on the
merits of his claim, nor a substantial likelihood of irreparable injury exists if the requested injunctive
relief is not granted, nor that federal court intervention in his classification status is justified.
Williams’ objections are without merit.
The Court has conducted a careful de novo review of the pleadings in this cause, including
the Plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief, the Report of the Magistrate Judge, and the Plaintiff’s
objections thereto. Upon such de novo review, the Court has concluded that the Report of the
Magistrate Judge is correct and that the Plaintiff’s objections are without merit. It is accordingly
ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s objections are overruled and the Report of the Magistrate
Judge (docket no. 24) is ADOPTED as the opinion of the District Court. It is further
ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s motion for injunctive relief in the form of a temporary
restraining order (docket no. 8) is DENIED.
SIGNED this 19th day of September, 2011.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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